Marshmallow Reduces Audio Latency – But it’s still not enough
With each iteration of Android, Google boasts a reduction in audio latency in an effort to finally entice music professionals and music application developers to bring their work over to Android.
For good reason, too, because despite making up only 3% of the total application downloads on the iOS App Store, music apps are the 3rd highest revenue generating app category, according to App Annie Intelligence.
On Android, however, music apps aren’t even in the top 5 of revenue producing apps. The biggest problem holding Android back is the high audio latency. Round-trip audio latency can be described as the time it takes an audio input to be introduced to the device, processed, then finally exiting the device. In the real world, a good example would be the time between when a musician speaks into their microphone and when they hear their own voice.
Google has updated its audio latency measurements table to incorporate how each of its Nexus devices perform under the improvements made by Marshmallow. Clearly we can see that Google has successfully reduced the audio latency with Marshmallow. But as any music professional would tell you, audio latencies above 10ms start to become noticeable, and Google has yet to deliver on that front.
Superpowered, a cross-platform audio engine for both iOS and Android, describes the importance of low latency audio and why exactly Android lags behind iOS. It’s surprising to see just how badly Android has lagged behind every single iOS device for years. Although Google continues its trend of reducing audio latency, it has yet to reach a level to draw music professionals away from iOS. And it’s costing Google — a lot.
Has Android audio latency bothered you before? Let us know below!